Find links for information on the return to campus process as well as trusted resources on COVID-19, vaccinations, mental health and well-being.

Institutional planning

SFU’s Guiding Principles

Work is focused on getting our in-person classes and research back to full capacity, while ensuring the safety of students, faculty and staff. All decisions will be made in concert with guidance from the Provincial Health Officer.

  • The university will prioritize opportunities for in-person learning for all students.
  • The university will consider the student experience and student success in all decisions.
  • Academic planning will protect the health and well-being, both physical and emotional, of students, faculty, and staff.
  • The university will consider issues of accessibility, equity, diversity and inclusion, and prioritize decisions that enhance inclusion.
  • Research activity will be supported to every extent possible.
  • The university will maximize flexibility in academic planning where feasible and in alignment with these guiding principles.
  • The university will provide clear, consistent, and timely communication to the community.
  • The university will work to retain best practices and incorporate lessons learned from this period of remote learning.
  • The university will consider the carbon footprint and climate change adaptation implications in all decisions.
  • The university will take advantage of opportunities to innovate and recalibrate.

Decision-making framework

SFU has established a decision-making framework that clarifies which decisions are made by which groups to ensure broad input from across the university.

Recovery planning

Executive Team finalizes recovery planning decisions which have significant long-term, strategic and/or budgetary planning impact on the university’s teaching and research and the supporting university-wide operations and policy. 

Planning examples

Final sign off on any change to the recovery scale, and to movements between levels of the scale

Final sign off on Plan A or Plan B for course delivery

Finalize expectations for faculty return to on-campus instructional duties

Finalize expectations for staff return to on-campus work

Responsible at a high level for ensuring that SFU complies with PHO guidelines

Operationalize the university’s direction

Deans’ decision-making authorities are outlined by the University Act and include responsibility for several sets of processes and decisions. One area of responsibility is to implement the principles established by both the executive, and external regulatory bodies. Another set of responsibilities is to lead unit-specific processes developed through collegial governance.

Decision examples

Which courses to schedule in a given term

Whether and how to continue with some small amount of remote delivery even when the university has fully returned to in-person interactions

Final authority over faculty members’ workload and teaching assignments (assisted by Chairs and Directors as appropriate)

Whether and how to deploy any available additional resources to meet the demands of the exceptional circumstances of our return to campus

Which personnel are required to be on campuses to support the teaching, learning research, and engagement mandate of SFU

How to support research operations and safety needs in faculty-controlled research spaces

How to provide library services commensurate with the academic and research needs of the SFU community

Decision making: VP portfolios

  • The Vice-President Research and International (VPRI) makes decisions for the safe resumption of research consistent with university-wide safety guidelines and recommendations.
  • The Vice-President Finance and Administration (VPFA) makes decisions about significant HR-changes, when to accept/engage commercial activities on campus (i.e. filming, in-person events, etc.), and has final approval authority over events open to the public that are not integral to the mandate of another portfolio.
  • The Vice-President External Relations (VPER) and the Vice-President Advancement and Alumni (VPAA) make decisions about when to resume and how to modify events, performances, and community engagement activities in their portfolios.
  • The Vice-President Academic (VPA) with input from the academic planning committee approves safety plan templates for use in the faculties; approves guidelines for continuing remote learning in specific circumstances; approves decisions about student mobility; approves courses and exams for face-to-face activities until August 2021 (decisions about courses and exams that will take place after this date will be made by deans); approves guidelines for ‘Plan B’ course approvals; recommends to the Executive whether to implement Plan A or Plan B and at what level (Plan B should be operating at e.g., 75 per cent of normal in-person).

Return to campus guidelines

Read about B.C. government protocols guiding the gradual increase of in-person teaching, learning, research, administrative and support services at post-secondary institutions while reducing the risk of COVID-19 transmission.

Safety tools

An institution-wide Communicable Disease Plan was adopted on July 21, 2021, to replace all unit-specific safety plans. Visit the SRS website to find out how you can transition your safety plan over the summer.

Read more

COVID-19 Self-Assessment Tool

Use this self-assessment tool to provide up-to-date guidance and recommendations for testing and follow-up for COVID-19.

Read more

Government resources



Every member of our community has the right to be treated with respect and dignity and to be welcomed and supported on campus.

If you’ve experienced harassment due to COVID-19, contact SFU’s Human Rights office at or +1 778 782 4446.

If you fear for your personal safety, contact 911, or Campus Public Safety at +1 778 782 4500.

Health and well-being

The pandemic is a challenging and uncertain time. If you’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed please reach out for support.

Access SFU Health and Counselling Services resources or SFU Mental Health Support. Staff and faculty can also access the Employee and Family Assistance Program.